While many recording applications are done in the box these days, there are many people that still record live vocals and instrumentation with microphones. Whether you're a podcaster looking for a simple solution to reduce noise in your podcasts or a mixing engineer trying to rescue bad takes your client sent to you, our review is full amazing solutions for your noise issues.
For these reasons, we use noise reduction software to eliminate unwanted noise from our recorded audio.
Today, we’re going to look at the 31 best noise reduction plugins on the market.
Note: this article may contain affiliate links, which mean that I receive a commission for any purchases you make, at no added cost to you.
Several Ways To Record With Less Noise
Of course, you shouldn’t exclusively rely on noise reduction plugins for clean mixes.
Instead, you should try a few things to reduce noise while recording, including:
- Reducing the subject-to-microphone distance
- Eliminating background noise sources
- Using directional microphones
- Using a low-cut filter on the microphone
- Using a real-time noise suppression unit
If you notice that you’re audio is still suffering from noise after these things, then you can use one of these handy noise reduction plugins.
🏆 Best Noise Reduction Plugin - iZotope RX 9 🏆
iZotope offers two excellent noise reduction plugins as part of RX 9, that based on your needs, including iZotope Spectral De-Noise, which is great for general noise reduction, and iZotope Voice De-Noise, which is great for dialogue noise reduction.
Both of these plugins provide zero-latency noise reduction with crisp and clear interfaces for toggling important noise reduction parameters, such as threshold, gain reduction, and more. No matter what kind of dynamic recording you are dealing with, iZotope’s high-end digital tools can make sure they come out clean and clear on the other side.
They are part of iZotope's incredible bundle RX 9. And of RX 9 features solutions for just about any type of sound clean up you could imagine. Some of the other modules in RX 9 include:
- Spectral Repair
- Mouth de-click
- Variable Pitch
- Variable Time
- A powerful repair assistant.
Simply put, iZotope's RX 9 is the gold standard for fixing noise issues with a recording.
Sonnox Restore Bundle
The Sonnox Restore Bundle comes with the Sonnonx Oxford DeNoiser, which is one of the best plugins for surgical noise reduction. It’s one of the most versatile noise suppressors out there, using five noise reduction modules and a spectrum analyzer to monitor how the plugin is impacting your audio.
All of the parameters on this plugin can be modified and bypassed without turning the plugin off.
We absolutely love the De-hisser parameter, which you can use to reduce the level of hiss noise and high frequencies without impacting the rest of the signal. This function is very beneficial if you have noisy analog equipment or use cheap microphones for recording.
The intuitive controls of the Sonnox Restore plugins makes them a delight to work with and one the high quality of Sonnox plugins make them some of the best noise reduction VSTs out there.
Acon Digital Restoration Suite
While the entire Acon Digital Restoration Suite is top-notch, the true hero in the noise reduction realm is Dialogue. This fully automatic noise reduction plugin is made exclusively for the voice. The real-time algorithm suppresses background noise in real-time, making it ideal for singers, interviews, and podcasts.
The algorithm on the plugin was trained with vocal samples so that it can distinguish the timbre, behavior, and frequencies found in different human voices.
However, if the automation isn’t quite cutting it, you can take advantage of the three-band onboard EQ to increase or decrease noise reduction applied to various portions of your incoming signal. This level of flexibility is what makes the Acon Digital Restoration Suite so useful!
Most Affordable Noise Reduction Plugin - Waves NS1
The Waves NS1 noise reduction plugin was designed with simplicity in mind. However, though it may not look like much, the results that you can get out of this thing are pretty incredible.
You’ll often find that most people using the NS1 plugin work in the video editing world.
The beauty of the NS1 is that it is super easy to use. All you have to do is pull the slider down until it begins reacting to your audio. Then, the plugin will apply adaptive noise reduction to your audio.
Sometimes, you need a plugin without all of the bells and whistles that can work in a pinch. Waves NS1 is just that!
The NR800 noise reduction suppressor from MCDsp is a real-time solution for music production, post-production, live sound, and just about anything else! However, where it truly excels is with dialogue. It’s wonderful for cleaning up audio contamination from microphone bleed or field recordings.
Even in aggressive settings, you’ll never notice any strange, unwanted artifacts. With just a few clicks, you can get rid of windy rumble or hissing noise.
We love that the McDSP NR800's per band controls really enable you to isolate troublesome noises without mutilating your overall track.
Z-Noise is another noise reduction plugin under the Waves banner, which boasts a unique algorithm that eliminates noise from background recordings without compromising the quality of the audio or inducing artifacts.
With Z-Noise, you can specify the noise print that you are targeting and want to get rid of. The plugin will then hone in on those offending frequencies. How much it hones in on the frequencies depends on how much you pull down the threshold.
One of the plugin’s biggest strengths is certainly the absence of smearing, which is why it has become a go-to choice for many. However, Z-Noise isn't as strong as an all around noise reduction plugin as some of the others on this list. Its core strength is reducing hiss from poorly shielded guitars and amps.
So if your recordings are to hissy and you don't have a lot of money to spend, check out Z-Noise.
Another offering from MCDsp is the NF575 noise filter. This high-resolution filter can remove a number of noise types from audio thanks to the accurate high and low-pass filters with selectable slopes.
Onboard, you’ll find advanced notch filters that you can use to select the amount of signal you want to reduce. You can link all five of these filters to address common noise problems, such as 60Hz hum. With an extremely narrow, linkable design, you can remove the cyclical or harmonic noise without impacting the good parts of your audio.
Best Waves Noise Reduction Plugin for Vocal Waves Clarity VX
Waves just recently came out with the Clarity VX and it is absolutely astounding.
The plugin offers one of the most efficient ways to clean your vocal recordings and rid them of hiss, hum, or harshness. Waves Clarity VX uses the new Waves Neural Network engine to impeccably clean vocals without any damage to the performance.
Without a learning curve, you can do it in seconds. The fact that back in the day, cleaning vocals like this would require serious engineering ingenuity, and now it only takes a few seconds, is quite amazing.
If you’re looking for the best plugin on the market to provide real-time noise reduction on your vocals, this plugin is it.
However, as amazing and affordable and recommended as Clarity VX, it does not work well on instruments, so you'll still need some other plugins if your other sounds also have noise!
Best Noise Reduction Plugin for Podcasters: IDC Instant Dialogue Cleaner
We’ve been enjoying the large knob-style plugins that have been coming out on the market lately, and IDC Instant Dialogue Cleaner is a prime example. Even with its simple interface, it offers some of the best noise reduction capabilities on the market.
If you're a podcaster looking for an affordable, easy to use plugin to clean up your podcast, this is what we'd recommend. The fact that you don't need to be an audio engineer to get great results is why we think this is the best noise reduction VST for podcasters.
Its quality of noise reduction is all thanks to its deep neural network, which separates noise from speech to preserve what should remain and get rid of what isn’t wanted. From traffic noise to room ambiance to nature sounds and beyond, all you have to do is twist the knob to hear the best version of your audio come to life.
Thanks to the integrated DNN artificial intelligence, this plugin is incredibly versatile, perfect for recording engineers, broadcast engineers, dialogue editors, and audio post professionals. IDC is great noise reduction plugin if you are looking to clean up dialogue.
Best Free Noise Reduction Plugin - Voxengo Redunoise
Voxengo Redunoise is one of the latest offerings from Voxengo. While it may look a bit outdated, it is a quality broadband noise reducer that can work for all kinds of noisy program material.
You’ll find standard noise reduction controls, including Threshold, Reduction, Attack, and Release. However, one of the things we really love about Voxengo Redunoise is that the developers added a Mix knob, allowing you to process the noise out of your audio in parallel.
I highly recommend trying this plugin out if you can, as it’s completely free to test out!
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